There are a lot of packing lists floating around internet, offering plenty of advice on what to pack for a Walt Disney World vacation. However, much of those packing lists focus on what kind of clothes to bring. That won’t do much good once you’re actually in the parks. Here are eleven essentials to bring with you into the parks to make your park days easier.
I hope this is obvious, but judging by the sunburns I always see, apparently it’s not. Apply sunscreen before you leave for the day. But bring it with you to reapply throughout the day. Yes, even on cloudy days! Nothing ruins a vacation more than sunburn!
I’m generally an advocate for unplugging on vacation. But sometimes you do need your phone with you in the parks. Use it to check wait times, adjust Fastpasses, and snap photos. In the interest of unplugging, maybe stay off social media till you get back to the hotel.
If you’re staying in a Disney hotel, a MagicBand is included in your stay. If you’re staying off-property, you definitely want to get MagicBands for your family. The bands have a new design as off spring, 2017 but the idea is the same. Your MagicBand is your park ticket. Plus, if you stay on-property, the MagicBand is also your meal ticket (if you added the Dining Plan), your room key, and can be attached to your credit card to make purchases in the parks.
Carry a couple bandaids in your pocket or backpack. They take up almost no room and you never know when a kiddo will fall and scrape a knee, or when a blister will pop up. Alternatively, you could pack moleskin for blisters, I find they stay on better than bandaids. Just make sure to cut them up before heading to the parks.
Florida is the sunshine state, after all. Add to that all the water and concrete reflecting that sun. You will definitely want something to protect your eyes from the glare. Having a backup is a good idea too, in case you lose one on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!
6. Extra Clothes
For families with small kids, or anyone planning to ride Kali River Rapids, a change of clothes is a necessity. Bring along a plastic bag to put dirty or wet clothes back into.
5. Lens Wipes
You might think this one is weird, but there’s always a few lens wipes in my park bag. I use them to clean sunscreen or melted Dole Whip off my phone or sunglasses. Napkins just don’t cut it. Plus, they they’re small and light so it’s no problem to stash a few lens wipes in a pocket.
You may not need your full wallet, but it’s a good idea to bring your ID with you. What if you lose your MagicBand? Cast Members will want to check your identity when activating a new one. You want to use an Annual Pass discount? Be ready to whip out your ID (and Annual Passholder card). Want to order a cocktail? Get ready to get carded.
Walt Disney World sits in a subtropical environment. Therefore, it does rain quite a bit. Usually, the rains comes and goes quickly, but it’s good to be prepared all the same. Buy ponchos before you leave home, or you’ll pay a pretty penny for them in the parks!
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Just like the weather can turn wet, it can also turn cold. Northerners may think of Florida as a land of eternal summer, but in fact evenings November-March can get chilly. Pack a lightweight sweater or cardigan in your park bag to keep you toasty when the sun sets.
You might be surprised to learn that you can totally bring your own food with you into the parks. You don’t even need to sneak it. Pack snacks like trail mix, nuts, pretzels, fruit etc. basically anything that won’t melt in the Florida heat. Bring your own lunch or snacks to save money, or to stave off hangry kiddos.
You might have noticed that water bottles are not on this list. I don’t think water bottles are necessary when there are water fountains and free cups of water available all around the parks.
Are there any essentials you always pack for the Disney parks?